Which ensemble TV character deserves a spin-off? Check out the latest Ask the TV Critic question and ask your own
Nicollette Sheridan, Desperate Housewives
Credit: Desperate Housewives: Danny Feld

Which ensemble TV character deserves a spin-off?

Do you think breakout characters deserve bigger parts or their own shows? I’m thinking of Karen from Will & Grace or Nicollette Sheridan from Desperate Housewives. — Richard Greene
The trick is that some supporting characters actually should do just that: support. Their one-dimensionality is charming and, with all due respect, limited. I think Megan Mullally is a hoot on Will & Grace, but her patter would grow old pretty quickly were she to star in Karen! (We may be learning the same thing about Joey: Adorable dimwittery is charming among one of six Friends, but a whole show revolving around a shallow character may not have been the best idea.)

I can think of plenty of ensemble players who I’d like to see land bigger roles. Prime among them: Det. Holland ”Dutch” Wagenbach (Jay Karnes), one of the best characters on The Shield. His old-married-couple bickering with Claudette (Emmy nominee CCH Pounder) is tempered by his loyalty to her. His braininess comes with a sweet awkwardness, and we still have that cat murder to discuss.

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